To say the Lady Miners’ defense is good would be a vast understatement.
The Nevada Union girls basketball team forced 26 Woodcreek turnovers, allowed just one point in the first quarter and didn’t give up a field goal until midway through the second quarter as the Lady Miners trounced the Lady Timberwolves, 59-28, Friday night at Albert Ali Gymnasium.
“Our defenders have stepped it up this year,” Nevada Union head coach John McDaniel said. “Emma (Peterson), Syd (Porter) and our posts Melanie (O’Brien) and Sammy (DeHart) have been working really well together. We’re blitzing a lot, which means we’re double teaming a lot and rotating well.”
Playing in their Sierra Foothill League opener, the Lady Miners looked impressive, playing staunch defense, taking advantage of fast-break opportunities off turnovers and nabbing multiple offensive rebounds.
“I think we owned them on the glass,” McDaniel said. “It’s something that has come on the last few games, where Syd, who has realized she can jump out of the gym, and Emma is always on the board, and Mel and Sammy do their thing.”
The only thing the Lady Miners struggled with was their 3-point shooting, but they would remedy that when Sammy DeHart hit from downtown as the halftime buzzer sounded. Sydney Porter then opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to remedy that ailing aspect of their game. Porter finished with nine points and six steals. DeHart tallied 11 points and five steals.
Emma Peterson led the Lady Miners in scoring with 18 points. The undersized senior also hustled down four offensive rebounds and three steals.
While the Nevada Union press defense confounded Woodcreek leading to turnovers and easy buckets for NU, the Lady Miners had no problem cracking the code on the Lady T’wolves’ zone defense.
Nevada Union’s Melanie O’Brien got things going in the first for NU with a bucket off a nice dish from Erin Selleck. DeHart then used the backboard to assist her jumper, and O’Brien sank another off a Selleck assist. O’Brien was impressive in the paint, grabbing eight rebounds to go with her 10 points.
By the time the first quarter had ended, the Lady Miners had put Woodcreek into an 18-1 hole.
Things slowed for Nevada Union in the second quarter as it had only managed five points until a DeHart 3 at the horn.
“We were getting good looks in the first half, we just weren’t hitting very well,” McDaniel said. “But that just shows they are unselfish.”
NU’s offense picked up in the third, and the defense never let down as NU led 46-15 after three quarters.
Pitching in quality minutes off the NU bench was Grace Paye with four points and six rebounds.
In the fourth, NU and Woodcreek traded baskets as some of the Lady Miner reserves got some important league play minutes.
With the win, the Lady Miners improve to 10-4 overall and are now 1-0 in the SFL.
“You want to come out and not look mediocre,” McDaniel said of wanting to start the league season well. “You want to come out and set a tone. And I think we did a pretty good job of doing that.”
NU takes the court again today when it travels to face Placer.
JV: Woodcreek 38, Nevada Union 35
The Lady Miners trailed by four with just four minutes left in their contest with Woodcreek Friday night.
NU eventually tied the game at 33 with a little more than two minutes, but Woodcreek responded by outscoring NU 5-2 down the stretch to eke out the win.
Ella Walton led the Lady Miners in scoring with 10 points, and Madison Lee scored nine points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the loss.
The Lady Miners will look to rebound today when they take on Placer.
Frosh: Nevada Union 56, Woodcreek 29
The Lady Miners opened the SFL with an emphatic win over Woodcreek.
Kaitlin Crowder led the way with 15 points, seven steals, seven rebounds and two blocks. Team co-captains Avery Delhez and Sophie Humphers combined for 18 points and nine steals in the win.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.